Some say the 458 is the last great mid-engine Ferrari to come out of Maranello.
Its unadulterated, curvaceous design together with the stratospheric-revving, naturally-aspirated V8 were its signature cues that appealed to the marque’s purists.
Now, with the launch of the new 488 Spider, the Italian car manufacturer “butchered” the last mid-engine, Pininfarina-bodied Ferrari with air scoops, cuts and creases in order to create one of the most hardcore roofless prancing horses ever.
And the result is…outstanding, to say the least. Unlike the magnificent 458 Spider, the new 488 isn’t penned by the illustrious Italian coachbuilder. Sure, it retains much of Pininfarina’s original proportions from the previous generation – since it’s based on it – but all the aerodynamic add-ons and body cavities are Ferrari’s own work using mumbo-jumbo expertise learned from the Formula 1 world.
And that can be seen primarily on the vehicle’s front fascia. Unlike the 458’s aerodynamic “whiskers”, located into the bumper, the new model comes with chin spoiler that stylistically continues all the way to the hood. That said, the entire rig resembles a Formula 1 “nose cone” and it’s drastically emphasized by the hood vents designed to channel air from the bumper air-ducts and over the entire car.
Unfortunately, just like the model it replaces, the new Spider doesn’t come with a see-through glass hood, so you can’t take a sneak-peek at the 3.9-litre, twin-turbo V8. Still, the bonnet is completely re-designed, sporting a wider look and, although not that visible in Ferrari’s official photos, it also has a slight rake designed to channel air through the “blown spoiler”
The latter can be distinguished as the wide orifice above the number plate and it acts like a regular spoiler embedded in the car’s design. Like the GTB variant, the new Spider lacks the tri-tailpipes implemented by the 458 Italia and Spider. The reason being is due to the aggressive rear-diffuser positioning which determined the engineers to re-think and re-arrange the whole exhaust system.
Coming up to the side, the signature, humongous air scoop still pierces the original design while reminding us of the Dino and the 308 GTB. Sure, like any other modern-interpretation design cue, it’s a little exaggerated (dimension-wise), but at least it redirects the much-needed air to the engine, differential and gearbox.
The interior comes with no surprises over the 488 GTB (except for that passenger display gizmo), but it has a few extras compared with the outgoing model. The air vents are less bulky and vertical, while the console between the seats has been replaced with a central tunnel.
We all know that both cars are astonishing, but like in any versus, there can be only one winner.
Poll: Which car do you think looks best?